No sooner had I lowered myself
down into that dark well
of ghost echos and distant whale squeak
than I was the poor boy of every
sad blues and honky-tonk song,
thumb out, on the Lost Highway
and a long, long way from home,
a lonesome stranger trying to
hitch a ride to ever-stranger lands
(and other Parts Unknown, as well).
I was Hank and Lefty,
Kerouac and Cassidy,
Quixote and Sancho.
I wore the fabled hubcap
diamond-star halo and red shoes
that were the envy of every angel
(and devil alike).
I made mid-night raids
on The Garden of Earthly Delights.
I stole Death’s pale, raggedy horse
and sold it to a traveling gypsy circus.
I directed traffic at the intersection
of Time and Space.
I rode bitch between a mega-church minister
and a street-corner preacher.
I got drunk on nine kinds of hellfire
and nearly died in a duel
over a one-legged ballerina.
If not for the alarm clock
pinching my ear with its
sharp, bony fingers,
I might not have ever
made it back.
-Jason Ryberg, 2010